Now former Baltimore Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez has cleared release waivers and is officially a free agent. The Orioles are interested in bringing back the veteran of four Major League seasons, but he is also drawing interest from other clubs in search of rotation depth.
Gonzalez, who is 31, was a key piece of Baltimore’s rotation over the last three years. In four big league seasons, he is 39-33 with a 3.82 ERA in 101 appearances (including 95 starts). The Orioles released him before Opening Day so hey could pay him $1.275 million compared to the $5.1 million figure he reached via arbitration over the offseason.
The Orioles hope they can re-sign Gonzalez and send him to Triple-A Norfolk. This spring, Gonzalez has seen his velocity reach no higher than the upper 80s, and he surrendered 21 earned runs and 35 hits over 19.1 innings, striking out just eight batters.
Chris Tillman is back as Baltimore’s ace followed by Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Mike Wright. Kevin Gausman will open the season on the disabled list. With Dylan Bundy beginning the year in the bullpen, and top prospect Hunter Harvey considered a year away from being Major League ready, the Orioles are reportedly active on the trade front to bring in another starting pitcher.
Tyler Wilson, a 26-year-old right-hander with just nine big league appearances, made the Opening Day roster and could serve as the No. 5 starter, at least in April.